Puppies and Rheumatoid Arthritis

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My husband gave me a German Shepard puppy for Christmas. Ask me if I wanted a German Shepard puppy and the answer would be no. However, I can’t imagine not having her around and she has been an absolute great addition to our family.

However, the transition has not been easy for me. As every dog owner knows, dogs require a lot of work. Puppies require a lot more. German Shepard puppies are no exception. Our puppy is so full of energy and requires a lot of interaction and clean-up. Yesterday, for example, it rained (yes it rains in California) and the puppy decided to go play in the mud. She came into the house before I could stop her and she was covered in mud. She ran through the living room, jumped on the couch before circling back to where I was standing. The carpet machine had to be brought out so that I could clean up the mess.

Later that day, my knee was hurting and I couldn’t figure out why until I flashed back on the muddy puppy. Dragging the carpet machine up the stairs, emptying it out, pushing it, and dragging it back downstairs all took a toll on my knee. Do I want to give her up? Not in a million years but, like with anything, additions or changes can have a significant impact on your Rheumatoid Arthritis. I would not have thought about my Rheumatoid Arthritis when deciding whether or not to get a puppy. I often forget or I don’t appreciate how something like adding a dog can impact by RA.
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I guess I could have left the mud on my carpets and my couch and ignored the dirty puppy but that is not realistic. I certainly could have and should have put braces on my knees if I thought this was going to be a problem. The reality is that there are things that happen in your day that you cannot plan for that will create pain. Recognizing this and possibly making changes afterwards might have helped. It constantly amazes me how simple things in our everyday life is impacted by our RA. The joy of a puppy can be overwhelming at times. Cleaning the carpet seems like an impossible task. What do I take away from all of this? The simplest things in life are not always easy when dealing with RA. However, the joy of having our dog outweighs the negative impact on my RA.

I hope all of you out there have a pain free day.

The Art of Raising a Puppy (Revised Edition): New Skete Monks

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